RE: Wanted Flare Observations of Lacrosse Satellites

From: Stephan Szyman (
Date: Wed Jan 11 2006 - 05:35:20 EST

  • Next message: Tony Beresford: "obsevations for Jan11, 2006"

    I observed an unexpected flare of lacrosse 4 on 1 sept 2005 UTC. the flare 
    ocurred as the spacecraft passed through delphinus/equuleus/pegasus. I 
    estimated the flare to have reached 0 to negative-1 magnitude, very similar 
    in brightness to some iridium flares I've observed.  it was the first time 
    I'd seen one of the lacrosse sats do that.
    I  posted a report, , but 
    unfortunately,  the link I included to the HA diagram of the pass is out of 
    date and doesn't work any longer.  my location was the same as stated below.
    the flare lasted 20 seconds or so, increasing in brightness for 10 seconds  
    and vice versa; the max. brightness was at  02:03:45 UTC just below and to 
    the left of delphinus from my perspective.
    on that particular pass, the spacecraft moved from right to left, passing 
    neatly in front of theta aquilae at 02:02:55 UTC plus or minus 2 seconds;  
    it then continued on a path which brought it also neatly in front of 1 
    pegasi at approximately 02:03:52 UTC, and finally passed in front of kappa 
    pegasi some 14-18 seconds later at approximately 02:04:08 UTC or so.
    I hope these observations'll help you in some way.
    non-overcast skies!
    (I ought to move to lanzarote or hawaii :(  chicago bites in the winter for 
    astronomy and satobs. probably 85% of the time since mid-november it has 
    been pea soup overhead here!   quite frustrating.)
    stephan szyman
    chicago IL USA
    41.6840N, 87.7000W; 188 msl
    [ps: OT: I was at borders last evening and asked where the science section 
    was, where could I find books on astronomy. the clerk sent me "past that 
    second pillar and it's the shelf to the right:" which turned out to be a 
    bunch of books on tarot and astrology. lol.  when I finally did find the 
    astronomy books one floor above that, I saved you all a trip to borders by 
    discovering that their astronomy/cosmology selection is WEAK.]
    >I have been observing Lacrosse satellites recently with an LX200, camcorder 
    >combination. I have had some success in resolving them and I was trying to 
    >interpret what I see.
    >My best model to date is 2 panels attached to a central body. My images 
    >clearly show 2 panels which are sometimes perpendicular to the velocity 
    >vector and sometimes parallel to it. Equivalent to XVV and YVV modes for 
    >the ISS I expect.
    >In December I observed a flare of Lacrosse 4 and I thought I could back 
    >calculate the orientation of the panel that caused it, since I know my 
    >location, the satellites location and the Sun's location.
    >The result is encouraging. A panel perpedicular to the velocity vector and 
    >inclined at 25 degrees to the Earth's surface. Now 25 degrees or 
    >thereabouts is a common incident angle for a SAR antenna. So I assume it 
    >was the SAR antenna that flared.
    >I would like to test that idea for other Lacrosse satellites so if anybody 
    >spots a flare please let me know with time and location of course.
    >Philip Masding
    >My Lacrosse results to date are here
    >Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:  
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